Now that your bundle of joy is here, it’s time to unbundle your pre-baby body and undertake your post-baby slim down.
Helloooo, sexy mama!
The good news is, you can get your body back! The even better news is that you don’t have to kill yourself to do it. Give yourself time and a little forgiveness and ease your way back into fitness.
Month 1: Get your feet wet
After welcoming your bundle of joy and getting cleared by the doctor to return to exercise, you’re ready to get rid of that baby bump. Don’t stymie your efforts by trying too much, too soon. Get your feet wet and work your way up to a tougher workout schedule.
Cardio: Put your baby in a stroller and start walking! Aim to hit the streets at least four days a week for a 30-45 minute walk or jog. If the weather doesn’t permit, or you’re just not that into walking, check out Netflix for streaming post-baby workout videos — they have tons to choose from!
Month 2: Pump up the volume
Now that you’ve found your fitness groove, it’s time to pump up the volume on your workout schedule. During your walks or jogs, start adding interval training so that you’re pushing yourself hard for one minute, then reducing your intensity to a moderate pace for the next minute. Perform these intervals throughout your routine.
Twice a week, add a strength-training circuit to your schedule. For more than nine months your center of gravity was altered by pregnancy, childbirth and breast feeding. Strength training will help you find your balance as you retighten and tone your trouble zones. Our preferred routine is full of core and compound movements, and best of all, it’s only 15 minutes long!
- Goblet squat (60 seconds)
- Walking lunge with biceps curl (60 seconds)
- Plank with hip extension (60 seconds)
- Push-up to row (60 seconds)
- Wood chopper (30 seconds per side)
Repeat sequence three times.
- Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in both hands at chest height.
- With feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, and with toes angled slightly outward, tip your hips back and lower yourself into a squat.
- At the bottom of the squat, your elbows should be positioned at the inside of your knees.
- Return to standing and continue the exercise.
Works: Entire lower body
Walking lunge with biceps curl
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step forward with one foot, planting the heel on the floor.
- As you bend your knees, lowering your body toward the floor into a lunge, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells up toward your shoulders.
- At the bottom of the lunge, your elbows should be at your sides, the dumbbells at your shoulders.
- Press yourself back to standing as you lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
- Step forward with your opposite leg and continue the exercise.
Works: Entire lower body and biceps
Plank with hip extension
- Start in a plank position, balancing on your toes and forearms, your body forming a straight line.
- Lift one foot off the floor and squeeze your butt as your extend your hip backward, pressing your foot toward the ceiling.
- Return to start and repeat on the opposite side.
Works: Core, chest and glutes
Push-up to dumbbell row
- Start in a push-up position, gripping a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend your elbows and lower yourself to the floor in a push-up.
- Press up and return to start.
- Shift your weight slightly to one side and pull one dumbbell in toward your chest, tightening the muscles of your back.
- Return the dumbbell to the floor and repeat on the opposite side, continuing the sequence of push-up, row, push-up, row.
Works: Core, chest and back
- Hold a dumbbell in both hands and start in a wide-squat position with the dumbbell positioned on the outside of one knee. Your back should be straight, your torso twisted (not bent) to one side.
- In a fluid movement, swing the dumbbell up and across your body, keeping your arms straight and your core tight, rotating your hips as you perform the movement so that your hips, chest and head all face the same direction at the top of the swing.
- Reverse the movement and return to start before continuing the exercise.
Works: Core, entire lower body and shoulders
Month 3: Move it, mama!
You’ve reclaimed your baseline for cardio and strength, so now it’s time to start seeing big results! Take the next month to really push yourself. Tack on an extra 10 minutes of cardio or strength training to each workout, or alternatively, add an extra day. Also, mix up your workout routine by performing the same exercises in a different order or by slowing down your routine. For instance, if you normally take two seconds to move down into a goblet squat and two seconds to return to standing, slow yourself so that it takes you four or five seconds to move into the squat and four or five seconds to return to standing. This type of superslow training will really challenge your muscles and force them to continue to respond and grow as the weeks go on.